5 Best Hikes in Anchorage, Alaska

Looking for the best hikes in Anchorage, Alaska? From city views to alpine lakes, Anchorage has more than enough hiking trails to keep you busy.

The best thing about living in Anchorage is that one of the four largest state parks in the U.S. is located ONLY seven miles east of downtown!

The Chugach State Park covers 495,000 acres of land and it takes less than 30 minutes to access one of the many miles of hiking trails within the park.

In this post, I’m going to share the best Anchorage hiking trails and directions on how to get to each one.

You’ll also find my favorite places to eat in Anchorage at the end of this post.

5 Best Hikes in Anchorage, Alaska

Table Of Contents


1. Little O’Malley Peak

Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,550 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

Little O’Malley Peak is one of the best day hikes in Anchorage and rewards you with amazing views of the city and surrounding Chugach Mountains.

This Anchorage hiking trail starts at the Glen Alps Trailhead. The trail follows Powerline Pass before dropping down into the valley. You’ll cross a bridge and follow a wooden boardwalk before making your way up the steep gully.

This trail is currently being rerouted and it’s set to complete in 2021.

Read the full trail guide: Hike Little O’Malley Peak

How to get to Little O’Malley Peak Trail in Anchorage:

From the Seward Highway, take the O’Malley Road exit heading East. Turn right onto Hillside Drive. Turn left onto Upper Huffman Road. Turn right onto Toilsome Hill Drive (Glen Alps Road). Turn left to stay on Glen Alps Road. Park in the Flattop / Glen Alps Trailhead parking lot.

Little O'Malley Best Hike in Anchorage Alaska
Little O’Malley Peak

2. Rabbit Lake

Distance: 8.8 miles roundtrip
Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,300 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

A long and steady climb will lead you to Rabbit Lake, a beautiful alpine lake in The Front Range of Anchorage’s Chugach Mountains. Rabbit Lake sites below two stunning peaks, North Suicide Peak and South Suicide Peak.

This trail is popular in the summer and there are plenty of chances to see wildlife like moose and bears.

Keep in mind it can be very windy on the Rabbit Lake Trail and parking is limited.

How to get to the Rabbit Lake Trail in Anchorage:

From the Seward Highway, take the De Armoun Road exit heading East. Continue on Upper De Armoun Rd. Take Canyon Road and Upper Canyon Road to Highland Road. The trail will be on your left.

Read more: What to wear hiking in Alaska

3. Williwaw Lakes

Distance: 16 miles roundtrip
Time: 7 hours
Elevation Gain: 800 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

Williwaw Lakes Trail will take you through a valley to several alpine lakes that sit below Mount Williwaw. This trail is great for a day hike and makes an amazing location for an overnight backpacking trip. You can pitch your tent at any one of the nine lakes in the valley.

You can access this hiking trail from the Glen Alps Trailhead or Prospect Heights Trailhead. I prefer starting from the Glen Alps Trailhead because it’s shorter and has less elevation gain.

Another way to hike this trail is by turning it into a loop by climbing up the O’Malley Gulley and over the Ballpark on the way in.

Keep in mind that there’s not much shade coverage and it can get really hot on a sunny summer day.

How to get to Williwaw Lakes Trail in Anchorage:

From the Seward Highway, take the O’Malley Road exit heading East. Turn right onto Hillside Drive. Turn left onto Upper Huffman Road. Turn right onto Toilsome Hill Drive (Glen Alps Road). Turn left to stay on Glen Alps Road. Park in the Flattop / Glen Alps Trailhead parking lot.

Williwaw Lakes Glen Alps Trail
Williwaw Lakes

4. Hidden Lake

Distance: 9.4 miles roundtrip
Time: 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

Hidden Lake is another hike in Anchorage that is accessed from the Glen Alps Trailhead. The trail follows Powerline Pass Trail for 2.5 miles until you drop down into the valley and cross a small bridge before a 2 mile uphill climb to Hidden Lake.

A lot of people make this a bike and hike trip. You can find a bike rack just before the bridge crossing.

The trail ends at a beautiful tarn. It’s a great day hike in Anchorage and it’s a great place to camp overnight.

How to get to Hidden Lake Trail in Anchorage:

Follow the Seward Highway south until you reach the Hope Highway. Turn Right onto Hope Highway. Follow for 16 miles and turn left onto Palmer Creek Road/Resurrection Creek Road. Continue on Palmer Creek Road for 12.3 miles until you reach the end of the road and a small parking area.

Hidden Lake Trail Anchorage Alaska
Hidden Lake Trail

5. Flattop Mountain

Distance: 3 miles roundtrip
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,500 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

Flattop Mountain is the most popular hike in Alaska. It’s not my favorite because of how busy the trail can be but it’s definitely one of the easiest ways to get amazing views of the city of Anchorage.

There are plenty of different ways to hike Flattop Mountain and you if you wan’t a longer day hike, you can continue hiking to Peak 2 and Peak 3.

A lot of people tend to underestimate this trail, so please make sure to wear appropriate shoes and wear the right hiking clothes.

How to get to Flattop Mountain in Anchorage:

From the Seward Highway, take the O’Malley Road exit heading East. Turn right onto Hillside Drive. Turn left onto Upper Huffman Road. Turn right onto Toilsome Hill Drive (Glen Alps Road). Turn left to stay on Glen Alps Road. Park in the Flattop / Glen Alps Trailhead parking lot.

Anchorage Day Hikes Flattop Mountain
Flattop Mountain

Chugach State Park Map

Most of these hikes within the Chugach State Park are accessed from the Glen Alps Trailhead. View the Chugach State Park Hillside Trail System Map.

You can also view the Chugach State Park Map here.

Where to Eat in Anchorage, Alaska

  • Moose’s Tooth – The best pizza in town. Make sure to try the diablo sticks.
  • Spenard Roadhouse – I recommend the bacon jam burger with a side of sweet potato tots + chipotle aioli dipping sauce.
  • Tommy’s Burger Stop – The burgers here are awesome.

Read More

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5 Best Hikes in Anchorage Alaska. From city views to alpine lakes, these Anchorage hiking trails make great day hikes. #alaska #hiking #backpacking #anchorage

Do you have any questions about the best hikes in Anchorage? Leave them in comments.

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